Saturday, March 08, 2008

Capcom's "MT Framework" Engine - Bravo! Magnificent!


Just finished Devil May Cry 4 on Devil Hunter difficulty. I enjoyed the action a lot; I found it smooth and easy to play while at times providing a fair enough challenge to keep things interesting! The story is very standard but I guess the question is, was I entertained? And the answer is yes.

Now this isn't really a full review of DMC4, I just wanted to say this: Capcom's "MT Framework" Game Engine is absolutely fantastic. I think it's even better than EPIC GAMES' UNREAL ENGINE 3. Yes, I've probably lost my mind, but that's the conclusion I've arrived at after playing three of Capcom's latest games in recent years: Dead Rising, Lost Planet, and now Devil May Cry 4.

I just want to keep this short, so I'll just say a few things about Capcom's fantastic engine:

1. The quality I'm seeing [on their Xbox 360 games] is just so consistent. Their engine barely chugs through whatever the game designers throw at it, be it snow-filled science fiction landscapes, realistic environments (like the mall in Dead Rising), or the anime-styled environments of DMC4. Fantastic!

2. Capcom's game engine handles both gameplay segments and cutscenes extremely well, and again, very consistently. Epic's UE3 seems to struggle through rendering cutscenes, as seen in games like Mass Effect and Gears of War. There are always areas where there's slowdown with the framerate or tearing. Admittedly I have seen a bit of tearing on Capcom's games but compared to UE3 games? Relatively speaking, I've seen more problems on UE3.

And, in some cases, MT Framework cutscenes look like CGI. Not only does Capcom save space on the disc, they're able to keep the immersion factor high because the player is always 'in-the-game'. It seems to me that every shot in the cutscenes is equal in quality to the graphics in actual gameplay.

3. Colors on Capcom's engine seem more bright and vibrant. I like how it makes Capcom's games more pleasing to the eye. UE3's problem seems to be that it loves to render the color grey a whole lot. (I'm reminded of how ID Software's engines love to render the color brown, but that's a totally different discussion....). Everything in UE3 has a greyed out look that washes over all the other colors in a scene. Capcom's game engine never has this problem.

Overall, Capcom, how did you guys do this??? If anyone from Capcom is reading this, I think you guys should sell your engine as middleware to other Japanese companies and help save the gaming industry in Japan! The MT Framework game engine is just fantastic, and can clearly compete with the best the West has to offer. I really think in some cases it surpasses Unreal Engine 3, and a lot of games in various types of genres (action, adventure, RPGs, shooters etc) can really benefit from the capabilities of Capcom's game engine.

Alright enough raving for tonight. Man, I really had fun with DMC4. Unfortunately I didn't 'win' the final challenge where you have 2 minutes and no demon has to attack Kyrie. I wonder if there's a bonus for accomplishing that one?

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